The coconut palm is one of the most useful trees out there, with well over 300 contemporary uses. The coconut tree also has the largest fruit in existence. Coconut palm growing can be a very profitable venture in tropical environments, since the trees not only have a great variety of uses, but are also not picky with the type of soil it is grown in.
The coconut palm is also called the coco palm and the coconut tree. The scientific name for the coconut palm is the cocos nucifera. The coconut palm is most distinguished by the coconut fruit, which is a very hard, round, brownish and globular fruit with holes that make the coconut look like a monkey's face. The coconut tree can reach 80 to 100 feet. The leaves of the tree can be as long as 20 feet long. These trees are almost always leaning due to the weight of the coconuts, the wind and the unstable soil.
The coconut fruit takes six months to reach its full size, which is not surprising given how large the coconuts are. The coconut tree usually produces 25 to 75 coconuts a year. Coco palms live approximately 80 to 90 years.
According to the Union County College, the coconut palm has 360 contemporary uses, with half of those uses being associated with food. Inside the coconut is white, rich and nutritious meat. The coconut meat is commonly used as an ingredient in American desserts. Coconut oil is used in soaps, chocolate, candy, ice cream, baking, candles, dying, ointments, toothpaste, paint, lubricants, plastics, insecticides and many more products. Coconut milk is used in the preparation of some foods. The leaves that surround the coconut flowers can be made into clothes. The fruit husk can be used to make rope, twine, mats, rugs and bags. The shell of the coconut is hard enough to be used in cups, ladles, pots and burning fuel. The leaves are often used to make roofs in tropical areas.
No one knows where the coconut palm came from, but according to the Union County College, there is evidence that the coconut palm has been cultivated in India for 4,000 years. The coco palm lives in tropical regions and can be found throughout the tropical world. Coconuts have spread throughout the world because human explorers have carried the coconut virtually everywhere they have traveled.
The coconut palm is able to survive in almost all types of soils, though the soil must be well drained and have a pH between 5.0 and 8.0. The coconut palm is vulnerable to nematodes, lethal yellowing disease and ganoderma butt rot, according to the University of Florida.